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Corporate Holiday Party Planning Checklist

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Holidays are fast approaching. Every organization, no matter how small or large organization is, throws office parties. The holiday parties are gathering of all your staff, showing appreciation and celebrating the year’s success. Putting on a great party that tops last year’s also requires thoughtful coordination and planning but it doesn’t have to be stressing which no one needs more this time of year.

Whether you are planning a formal event or a laid back party, here’s a company holiday party checklist to get you started:

Determine type of event
Decide on type of event. Will it be luncheons? Is party just a holiday party or also your awards banquet? Are clients and business partners invited or just employees, plus ones and spouse only? Decide on the dress code. Whether your event is to be formal black-tie holiday gala or casual, decide early depending on theme and type of event.

Set the budget
Make sure your company has allotted budget to cover the basics and any additional expenses, including transportation. Deciding on budget can help in forming subsequent decisions.

Guest list
Often overlooked, a general idea of guests’ number you will be expecting will determine event details. Think whether this party is just for employees and their spouses or are you going to invite your business partners and valued guests.

Set the date and venue
The date and venue goes hand in hand as your date will need to rearrange to fit in with your preferred event venue and caterer’s availability. Those hot party dates like Fridays and Saturdays are probably tough to solidify with caterers and venue.Book early. Check with local event spaces to see what dates are available. Then, choose a date that works for you and your staff.

Choose a venue that is easily accessible to everyone. Ensure the venue can hold your expected number of guests, and space enough for entertainment or stage your event may require.

Call a caterer
Caterer are busiest during the holidays so earlier you start your search for caterer, the better your chances of booking one you preferred on the date you need. You will also have plenty of time to plan menu, tasting and any event theme requires.

Pick a theme
Having a themed party makes it easier to select the event décor and even help in planning menu. You can use your venue or caterer help in choosing a theme that suits your office’s personality. If you opt not have theme for your party, you can choose a décor that speaks holiday cheer beyond what venue has to offer to make extra festive.

Plan the menu
Once you have chosen your caterer, brainstorm with them to prepare a holiday menu. Your budget, guest count, theme will help to come with perfect holiday menu for your event. Make sure that menu appeals to masses and take into considerations special dietary needs.

Plan the bar
Many employers serve alcohols at their party. Will it open bar? Will you have a specialty cocktail based on your theme? Speak with your caterer about their alcohol policy and establishing your own, will keep everyone safe and under control. Drink tickets and cash bar allow guests to let loose, but also helps to control consumption.

Like caterers, entertainers will be heavily booked during holiday season. Choose entertainment whether live band or DJ, what goes with your party theme, book early to capture top entertainers. Also consider asking local children’s choirs or community groups to perform. If you don’t want big entertainers, have similar interactive activities.

If you have a scheduled planning, your event will run smoothly. Your order should outline timing for arrival, cocktails, dinner, employee recognition, gifts –giving and entertainment and closure. Plan accordingly and make sure your guest speakers, presenter and participants are notified in advance of their responsibility.

Incorporate recognition
Holiday party budget is small or big doesn’t matter. What matters is your organization’s holiday party is in its meaning. Holiday parties are to show appreciation to your employees and as a result, it’s important to recognize the efforts of your staffs and appreciate their hard work and contributions throughout the year.

Send out invitations
Send out invitations either designing a flyer or personal invites in everyone’s mailboxes. The invitations should reflect holiday party’s theme as well as dress code.

Like the saying, “Early bird catches the worm”, start your office holiday party planning early. That way you get the preferred venue, caterer and entertainers that makes your party success and memorable for everyone involved without haste and stress. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself.